THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
-WCWS KICKS INTO GEAR IN OKLAHOMA CITY
-WOLNY AND KELLER NAMED ALL-AMERICANS
(Columnist Jeff McAdams isn't talking about Julie Hermann today. He looks
at the Women's College World Series today. Just as well, some journalist
in Jersey will probably break news that Julie Hermann puts strawberries in her
bowl of Cheerios or she refused the automatic transmission fluid check eight
years ago when she had the oil changed in her car. Play Ball!)
As we reach the end of May, topics in women's athletics are getting to be slim pickings.
No, I won't be writing another opinion piece about whether Rutgers should stand by their hiring of Julie Hermann, or whether its reasonable to expect someone to remember being in a wedding from 15 years ago of someone that long ago ceased being a part of one's life. Frankly, my interest in this as a media story has waned far faster than, it seems, the media's has.
There is, however, a women's athletics event that I will be trying to keep track of that starts today. The Women's College World Series (WCWS) kicks off today in Oklahoma City with four games on the schedule.
Women's College World SeriesThe WCWS is played as two separate, four team, double-elimination brackets, then a best of three series between the two winners of the brackets. This somewhat mirrors the Regional and Super-Regional structure of the broader portion of the overall tournament where four teams compete in a double-elimination bracket to advance to a Super-Regional with another Regional winner in a best of three series.
Play kicks off at noon between 11th seed Washington taking on 14th seed Nebraska. Both teams upset higher seeds in their Super-Regionals to advance to the WCWS, which means they both spent the past weekend on the road. The winner plays tomorrow in the 7:00pm game against the winner of the 2:30pm, #7 Tennessee vs #2 Florida game. Both Tennessee and Florida were the higher seeds in their Super-Regional (Florida beat UAB who came out of the Louisville Regional), so they have the benefit of having played at home the past weekend, and as such may be slightly better rested. The losers of these games move to the elimination half of the bracket and will play each other Saturday at noon. Other games in this bracket include another elimination game (winner of the Saturday noon game, vs the loser of tomorrow's 7pm game), the winner of that game meets up with the remaining undefeated team Sunday at 1pm, and if the team that came from the elimination half of the bracket wins, the "if necessary" game will be Sunday evening at 7:00pm.
The other bracket starts this evening with a 7pm game between #5 Arizona State (who defeated UK 2-0 in the Super-Regional matchup) with #4 Texas. The nightcap is at 9:30 between 8 seed Michigan, and top seed (and prohibitive favorite) Oklahoma. All of these teams were the higher seed in their Super-Regionals, so all got to sleep in their own beds last weekend. The winners of these two games play Friday at 9:30pm. The first elimination game would be Saturday at 2:30pm. The second elimination game will take place Saturday evening at 9:30pm. The elimination side of the bracket meets back up with the undefeated team Sunday at 3:30pm. The "if necessary" game is scheduled for 9:30pm, though one wonders if the "if necessary" game would go at 7:00pm if the other bracket didn't need to play its "if necessary" game.
The winners of these two brackets, will then play a best of three series with games on Monday and Tuesday, and an "if necessary" happening Wednesday.
All games are on ESPN and ESPN2.
After this is all over? Well, its a long time until mid-August when volleyball gets into pre-season matches.
Alicja Wolny and Katie Keller have been recognized for their contributions to Louisville
Softball by being named to the NFCA All-American second team. They are the seventh and eighth
players in Louisville Softball history to receive such an honor. Lacy Wood (2006), Kristen Wadwell (2009) Melissa Roth (2009, 2010) Tori Collins (2012) and Taner Fowler (2012) are also alumnae of
this prestigious award.
|The Big Wol ready to send|
one over the fence.
Louisville (47-13) ended up #12 in the ESPN.com/USA Collegiate Poll and in the USA Today/NFCA coaches' poll.
Louisville has Keller, Taner Fowler, Hannah Kiyohara, Kayla Soles, Maggie Ruckenbrod, Ally Vaughn, Brittany Sims, Whitney Arion and eight talented new Cardinals arriving on campus this fall, Jordan Trimble is listed as a red-shirt junior as well, so I'm under the assumption we'll see her in centerfield next year. Still no word on the official status of freshman Jasmine Smithson-Willett.
Louisville looks well-positioned to compete as a conference leader next year. Pitchers Caralisa Connell and Rachel LeCoq, who had all 47 wins between them, also return for duties inside the circle.